Cruise
Plancius
Oceanwide Expeditions
Plancius, Atlantic Odyssey ex Ushuaia to Ascension
Ship: Plancius
Selected Sailing Date: 19 Mar 2018
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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Itinerary
Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

36 Night Cruise sailing from Ushuaia to Ascension aboard Plancius.

Combining Antarctic Peninsula (Whale Watching) and Atlantic Odyssey itineraries as follows:

Day 1: Embarkation and departure from Ushuaia
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Day 2 - 3: At sea
At sea - During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Day 4 - 7: Antarctica
We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Ronge Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of Brown skuas. If we land on Orne Island we can observe Chinstrap penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater seals. In Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glacier and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises. When sailing to Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we will have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the bay. Throughout this area we have good chances to see Humpback whales and Minke whales.

We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pléneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adelie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. In this area, there are good chances to encounter Humpback whales, Minke whales and Fin whales. Sailing north through Gerlache Strait we arrive at the Wilhelmina Bay where we often are fortunate to see feeding Humpback whales. We may embark on a Zodiac cruise if the conditions allow ending at the wreck of Guvernøren an old whaling vessel that burned here in 1915. Around Melchior Islands amidst a beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter more whales but also Leopard seal and Crabeater seals.

Day 8 - 9: At sea
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 10: Arrival and departure in Ushuaia
Beagle Channel - sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Day 11 - 14 At sea
During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering albatrosses, Grey-headed albatrosses, Black-browed albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty albatrosses, Cape petrels, Southern fulmars, Wilson’s Storm petrels, Blue petrels and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Day 15 - 17 South Georgia
South Georgia - We begin our visit We aim to visit some of the major King penguin rookeries in the World. The late season offers an outstanding chance to see the King penguins on eggs and with small chicks. The rookeries are packed at this time of year and the traffic to and from the beach is astounding. Salisbury Plain offers this scenario in mind boggling quantity. We will see the huge King penguin colony along with Elephant seals and endless numbers of fur seal pups playing in the surf. On Prion Island in the Bay of Isles (the island is closed for visitors during breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January) we can see breeding Wandering albatrosses. We will also find time to visit the old whaling settlement in Grytviken, where now the penguins walk through the streets. Grytviken is home to a small, but highly informative museum and also offers a chance to visit the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton who is buried here alongside his trusted friend and companion Frank Wild. We will attempt to land Gold Harbour and St Andrews Bay with stunningly beautiful scenery and a wildlife density second to none. King penguins are truly Kings here!

Day 18 - 22 At sea
In the Westerly’s we have a pleasant tailwind. On both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, we observe many species and great numbers of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.

Day 23 Gough Island
Today we plan to approach the unique Gough Island for a zodiac cruise around Quest Bay, as always weather permitting. Gough Island is a strictly protected nature reserve and landings are not allowed. However, the intended Zodiac cruise have proven to offer spectacular scenery and a great abundance of wildlife not easily seen elsewhere in the world. In previous years we managed to circumnavigate all but four miles of the 33 mile circumference of the island by ship. We felt very privileged to be among the few visitors who have been able to experience Gough and in particular, to see it at such close quarters and in such favourable conditions. We hope to be lucky to repeat this unique experience with you.

Day 24 - 26 Tristan da Cunha
In the Tristan da Cunha archipelago we plan to call on the settlement at the west side of the main island. We will also try to make landings at Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island where millions of seabirds ranging from Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, Nortern Rockhopper penguins to Brown Noddies breed. We allow one day in reserve for bad weather. Please note that we will try and approach for landings, however due to the weather conditions this is not always possible.
Since we began our Atlantic Odyssey's (1998) we failed during 35% of the voyages to make landings in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, due to adverse weather.

Day 27 - 30 At sea
We now enter sub-tropical waters with their own species of seabirds and dolphins.

Day 31 - 33 St. Helena
St. Helena has a good anchorage and landing site at James Town. On this island, we will have ample opportunities to enjoy local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic plants and birds. We will visit Longwood House, the place where Napoleon lived and died in exile. There will be opportunities to explore the Island on your own and for snorkelling in the shallow surf where we can find a multitude of tropical and sub-tropical fish species.

Day 34 - 35 At sea

Day 36 - 37 Ascension Island
Ascension Island (April 24 - 25) - Ascension Island is a dry volcanic island with a moist and richly vegetated top. The Sooty tern (wide-awake) colony sometimes consists of more than 1 million breeding pairs. We will try to climb the moist summit of Ascension Island and make a zodiac-cruise around Boatswain Bird Island. Near the anchorage at Georgetown we also have great opportunities for snorkelling. We aim to witness egg-laying sea turtles coming ashore at night. Some of our passengers may disembark and fly with the scheduled RAF (Royal Air Force) flight to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. Others may proceed with the voyage to the Cape Verdes.

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